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Weather Watchers Camp gets students 'excited about science'
July 31, 2014

The Weather Watchers Camp, sponsored by Herkimer College and Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES, took place from Monday, July 28, through Thursday, July 31, at Herkimer College and was taught by WKTV meteorologist Bill Kardas. Scholarships from more than $700 of donations from The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties helped students attend the camp, which featured learning about weather and conducting science experiments. Pictured here from left to right, the group poses for a photo outside at Herkimer College. Front row: Riley Palen, Gabrielle Ross, Laura Culver, Blake Reese, Ryan Basel and Raymond Geise. Back row: camp helper Janina Rogers, Lillian Pashley, Rebecca Loring, Kyle Altrock, Raymond Boyko, Jeremiah Boyko, Arlington Carbajal, WKTV meteorologist Bill Kardas, Zachary Flint, Kara Boehm and Kristina Donets.

HERKIMER – During Weather Watchers Camp this week at Herkimer College, Gabrielle Ross, 10, who will be a fifth-grader at Poland this fall, has enjoyed learning how to read weather maps from WKTV meteorologist Bill Kardas, finding out how to make a cloud in a bottle and playing a version of bingo using weather symbols.

“I like science and weather,” Gabrielle said. “I like doing all the experiments and especially weather bingo.”

Herkimer College and Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES sponsored the Weather Watchers Camp for ages 9-13 from Monday, July 28, through Thursday, July, 31. The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc. donated more than $700 for scholarships to help students attend the camp.

This year’s group of 15 students from grades 5-9 is the largest number to ever attend the camp, said Kardas, who teaches the camp.

“They have a lot of energy and a lot of questions,” he said.

On Wednesday, July 30, the students were learning about thunderstorms and tornadoes. They also would build homemade thermometers and test them outside to learn about solar radiation and how items will warm up faster on pavement than grass for example, Kardas said.

Another popular experiment during the camp is the cloud in a bottle experiment, which involves putting rubbing alcohol in a bottle, using a pump to add pressure and then releasing the pressure to instantaneously turn the rubbing alcohol into gas.

“That’s fun,” Kardas said.

Students in the camp get to learn about weather and get a head start on topics they’ll learn about during earth science studies, he said.

“I want them to get excited about science,” he said. “That is really the ultimate goal here.”

That mission has been accomplished for Raymond Boyko, 12, who will be a seventh-grader at Mount Markham in September. His favorite part of the camp has been “working together as a class” on experiments and projects, he said.

“It’s really interesting,” Raymond said. “We get to learn the more complicated stuff, which will help us in future years.”

Raymond has been enjoying learning about science and weather, he said.

“I realized there’s actually more to it than people think,” he said.

Laura Culver, 10, will be a fifth-grader at Mount Markham in the fall.

“It’s pretty fun,” Laura said, of the camp. “I really like the experiments we’re doing.”

She particularly liked the cloud in the bottle experiment.

“I thought it was really cool,” she said.

Laura also already had a question planned out about Hurricane Velma for the hurricane portion of the camp.

“I have a lot of fun,” she said. “I joined because I’m really into science and I’m very smart, and I did this to figure out things I didn’t really understand like why Hurricane Velma had two eyes instead of one.”

Raymond Geise, 10, who will be a sixth-grader in the Central Valley School District in the fall, said he enjoys many aspects of the camp including watching “cool” YouTube videos.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s fun.”

The students also “get to do a lot of fun experiments,” Raymond said.

“My favorite one has to be the cloud in a bottle experiment,” he said. “It’s a fun experiment. I like it.”
Sign up now for other camps:

There is still time for local students to sign up for the remaining this summer put on through a partnership between Herkimer College and Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES.

To sign up for one of the upcoming camps, call 315-866-0300, extension 8251, or send an email to communityed@herkimer.edu.

Several camps already took place this summer, and here’s a look at the camps that still remain:

Adventure Camp B: Students will enjoy a wide variety of age-appropriate activities, skills and traits including teamwork, problem solving and leadership in the outdoor environment. Campers will enhance their social development and self-esteem, build friendly relationships, learn cooperation skills, experience the thrill of discovery and have fun. This camp is for ages 6-12. It takes place from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Aug. 4, through Thursday, Aug. 7. The fee is $72.

Crazy Computer Basics: Students will explore and learn how to use all the hidden, awesome elements of Microsoft Word. They will be creating PowerPoint presentations with videos, clipart and animations. They also will learn to create their own movies using Movie Maker. This camp is for ages 8-11. It takes place from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Aug. 11, through Thursday, Aug. 14. The fee is $72.

Advanced Robotics Mini-Camp: If you’re a student who has ever experienced a robotics camp before, then this camp is for you. Students will learn advanced programming using a curriculum that is designed to encourage the use of math and science when programming their Lego Mindstorm robot kits. This camp is for ages 10-13. It takes place from 8 a.m. to noon on Monday, Aug. 11, through Thursday, Aug. 14. The fee is $89.

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